Have you ever watched a fact-based movie and got caught up in the emotions of the characters? I don’t mean crying when the script manipulates one’s feelings but to have a heart-felt hurt for the character because YOU have lived it yourself?
This happened to me recently and I was totally caught off-guard.
It all began one evening when I was exhausted from the week’s activities and simply wanted to watch a movie on Netflix (you know, something mindless). I had been following this one series due to the nature of the characters and was excited when part-3 was available.
OK, it was an action movie but based on a true story. I like those type of movies. So I hit <Play>…The movie was entertaining as it featured a certain martial arts master in the early 50’s who made a huge impact given the 300-year old style. In fact, he taught that particular style to a famous kung-fu fighter who went on to produce movies that changed the world of discipline and mastery through the Wing Chun style. If you are a martial arts fan or follower, you know who I am talking about by now.
Anyway, as I am watching the movie, there was a scene in which the grandmaster’s wife felt sick. She later learned that she had cancer. She told her husband about the tragic news and suddenly, the focus was no longer on kung-fu but about spending much time with each other and doing things together.
This tugged at my heart.
The scenes progressed into their many visits to the hospital and constantly hearing news about how there was nothing else that can be done for her. I don’t know about the elevator fight scene as they were leaving but I remained focused on how they spent time together. She loved to dance and so he learned how to dance (from a special instructor no less – you will need to watch the movie to see “who” the dance teacher was).
Something happened during their private dance together and time was becoming shorter for them now. She gave her blessing to have him accept a final challenge against a younger martial arts instructor who had publicly called out the grandmaster to decide “who” was the best Wing Chun grandmaster after all.
She sat outside the main fight area and simply listened to the sounds of the combat. The wife showed a spirit of support in spite of her illness. She wanted to hear him do what he loved best in life and most of all, to win one more time. She wanted to know that her husband will always be the best Wing Chun grandmaster who ever lived. This was her last hope before she passed away a short time later.
That was not the emotional part for me.
It was the next scene after her death.
The camera panned in on the grandmaster as he sat on his chair sipping tea. The chair next to him was empty now. His gaze was contemplative as he was probably thinking what he will do without her in his life now. He was 67 when she passed away and later died at the ripe age of 79.
I recall those lonely days in the beginning and I recognized the look on the grandmaster’s face. It was the same contemplative gaze I had in 2008. My heart ached for him.
Perhaps for some who are reading this, their thought is “move on and enjoy your new life.” Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love my new life but I would not be human if I did not have emotions for someone who experienced the same type of loss I did in spite of the different times and circumstances.
All this to say, be true to your emotions no matter what they are. Do not let negative comments or people bring you down – they have no right to dictate how and what you can say about your own loss. These people are not what you need in your life.
Instead, receive those who come alongside you and stretch their arms towards you to provide their non-verbal comfort. Seek to comfort others who have experienced similar losses because there was a reason why you had to go through your tragedy – it is to open your outstretched arms to someone to receive it.